Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: feeding goat kids without a mum  (Read 1230 times)


  • Joined Mar 2022
feeding goat kids without a mum
« on: March 17, 2022, 08:25:29 pm »
New on here and i cant find the new topic section for goats? hoping you can help.
We have just acquired 3 billy kids, two at 12 days old and 1 at 10 days. They had only just been put on teats and were not good at feeding when we first got them. The two older ones are now feeding from teats well, and the third one just drinks from a bowl!
We have been following the instructions on the milk, and the owner had said 4 x days for this week and then go down to 3 times, then 2 times over the next 3 weeks.
Never had goats before and i'm now worried about everything!  Not sure if we are feeding correctly, how we introduce water, solid food, hay and how to decrease the milk. I think they will need milk for longer?
Please be kind, we hadn't planned on having goats this year, I never normally buy without researching first and getting prepared, but we find ourselves with them and now desperately want to get it right.
Any advice gratefully received


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: feeding goat kids without a mum
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2022, 07:26:21 pm »
Sorry that no-one has spotted this and responded.  I have asked the moderators to move it to Goats for you, so hopefully you will get some goat savvy advice once it's there.  I could write pages if they were lambs but I know nothing about kids (of any species  :innocent:)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: feeding goat kids without a mum
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2022, 12:07:23 am »
And apologies from me as well, don't know how I missed this.
Hi MZMG, I would keep them on milk for 3 months minimum, some mum's wean naturally about that age anyway, billies I've kept up a bottle or 2 till 6 months.
Well done for getting them on teats, often quite a problem for even regular goat keepers if not introduced very early.  :)
Just offer them feed, hay and water, would be better if they could copy mum, but nature is a wonderful thing, they'll start to nibble and taste things.


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: feeding goat kids without a mum
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2022, 06:51:51 am »
Initially put in a washing up bowl or similar with some fine hay, or readigrass is a good starter (as in Readigrass or simialr for sold for horses) and maybe add a wee sprinkling or either rolled oats or a calf starter mix. Goats are better reared on cattle/daory cattle feed, because they need more copper. Bowls need to be taken out and washed every night, I would also add a hayrack very soon. (NOT a haynet esp if they have horns).

What are your long term plans with these kids - freezer? I take it they are not disbudded or castrated? You will have strong horn growth to deal with.

Also if the dams have not been vaccinated with Lambivac (against tetanus and/or enterotoxaemia) you should be doing that at 3 weeks old. (2 shots of Lambivac at 4 weeks apart under the skin, 2ml each time). Did they get colostrum at birth?

What breed are they?


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